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-   -   CBS's "Rules of Engagement" for Star Trek Fan Films (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=187825)

Ian Keldon September 11 2012 03:20 PM

CBS's "Rules of Engagement" for Star Trek Fan Films
 
Paramount has, since some time in May, started going after anything that infringes on its Trek IP rights. Kitbashers on Ebay, fan sites "archiving" old out of print RPG material, etc.

Has their gaze turned to any of the fan films yet? We have several high-profile productions like Phase II that could be adversely affected, depending on how far Paramount is willing to take this.

Potemkin_Prod September 11 2012 05:42 PM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
We were asked to make changes to our Project: Potemkin website, specifically to remove the link to PayPal to make donations to our project by CBS Studios/Legal. We were also told that we could not sell uniforms/costumes and any other type of item that features Star Trek-related material. It's no big deal. We complied within 30 mins, and the site met their approval immediately afterwards. And they've not touched the Orion Press website at all, which has been on-line since the early 1990's. We still receive donations for Potemkin, but there's not a lot of need for them except for costuming and makeup appliances (i.e. ears).

I think the thing they wanted to put a stop to was the proliferation of copyrighted film clips, copyrighted video clips, copyrighted sound clips that predominated a lot of websites for a while.

USS Intrepid September 11 2012 08:33 PM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
They've never been in touch with us, despite some fairly widespread publicity over the years. But then we've always made an effort to be squeaky clean and not step on any toes.

Barbreader September 11 2012 10:28 PM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
There are different levels of copyright violation. Use of any film clip is a clear violation of statutory copyright, unless you are writing a critique of it, or creating a parody... even then, use if limited. Period. No wiggle room. Uniforms would also fall under this. On the other hand, a new ship, a new crew... new footage... based on a series whose designs they haven't used in 40 years... a lot iffier. Also, they have less to loose.

JarodRussell September 11 2012 10:30 PM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
Quote:

Potemkin_Prod wrote: (Post 6944440)
We were asked to make changes to our Project: Potemkin website, specifically to remove the link to PayPal to make donations to our project by CBS Studios/Legal.

I don't think you even had to do that. Just reword what these donations are for.

Potemkin_Prod September 11 2012 11:40 PM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
We really don't need the contributions in general. I'll occasionally get a really nice one, and it's very appreciated. But our bridge is built; it doesn't eat a lot of utilities. The website is relatively cheap. We don't spend a lot of money burning DVDs and taking them to conventions. We don't advertise very much, so there's not a lot of need for donations.

Barbreader September 11 2012 11:56 PM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
This series keeps getting better. I think this is a great way to go. The series shows that you are focusing on making the films... and I believe that as the number of films that are great to watch grows, the viewers will find you in growing numbers.

doubleohfive September 12 2012 02:21 AM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
Quote:

Potemkin_Prod wrote: (Post 6944440)

I think the thing they wanted to put a stop to was the proliferation of copyrighted film clips, copyrighted video clips, copyrighted sound clips that predominated a lot of websites for a while.

If that's true, TrekCore is not long for the world then. Which is sad, as it's a huge resource, never mind adelight to peruse.

Potemkin_Prod September 12 2012 02:47 AM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
I seem to recall some sort of the same thing being done by Paramount back in the 1990's and again in the mid 2000's. TrekCore survived both. Sadly not every website did.

doubleohfive September 12 2012 02:49 AM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
Well that's a good sign then. Still, while I don't dispute Paramount's right to its own intellectual property, it sucks that they're cracking down on everyone. I'd be very interested to know how closely this might be related to the release of the next film.

Potemkin_Prod September 12 2012 03:10 AM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
I haven't heard from anyone that's being cracked down on lately myself. I'm just hoping this is one of those rumors.

Ian Keldon September 12 2012 07:49 AM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
Here's the original email I received:

Quote:

All,

I just wanted to let everyone know the following, for what it's worth...

Morena Shipyards has allowed me to meet literally hundreds of folks online. Inevitably, an "industry insider" joins our ranks. Most times, I never know. Other times, I've been fortunate enough to talk with them about our gaming hobby in general, and sometimes Star Trek specifically.

I've been informed that Paramount is actively looking for any sites that host scanned, copyrighted material for download and have already caused some file hosting sites to remove that material. I don't know what became/becomes of the person who uploaded the material, but it's not hard to fathom that there could be negative repercussions for that person.

Even more disturbingly, it appears that FASA Star Trek material is being targeted specifically. So, consider this fair warning that if you're hosting copyrighted material and aren't authorized to do so, you may want to reconsider.

I'm in that boat with you, as I know I've got some scanned magazine articles posted in the Files section. I'd like to think these would be "exempted", but what do I know, other than to err on the side of caution.

To this end, any links and any posts that point to a website that hosts such material will be deleted. I do not want to risk Morena Shipyards and what we have here.

I've been meaning to post this since Friday, which means that this was on my mind before a recent post (that will soon be deleted).

Thanks,

Lee
And here's where I posted the information when I followed up with him asking what had caused the situation.

Quote:

I heard back from the Admin at Morena. He can't say much w/o burning a source, but he seemed to indicate that the FASA material was "collateral damage" from a hunt for more infringing material. Basically they were going after something else Trek related and found the FASA stuff.

Apparently CBS and/or the new Paramount management isn't as lenient as their predecessors.
CBS/Paramount is in the midst of a C&D flurry covering several IPs and multiple media it appears. Old FASA Trek RPG scans are being targeted, as are kitbashed minis on E-Bay, etc.

Linnear September 12 2012 02:56 PM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
CBS is the rights holder for Star Trek. And dealing with the top people in CBS, I can tell you they are decent, passionate people who love Star Trek. Already we are at an advantage. They are not trying to screw with fan films. I have had serious discussions with them and they honestly would love to work even more with fan films, but because Paramount owns the movie rights, the situation is very tricky and they simply cannot do anything.

Mallory is the legal person who looks after the fan film community, and while I haven't spoken with her, I have heard nothing but great things about her from Phase II and Secret Voyage. She will tell you what you have to change to fly under the radar and she is very helpful.

I will get contact info for her and chat with her how she might want inquiries to go.

Alec

Ian Keldon September 12 2012 05:51 PM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
^Thank you. That would probably help keeps a great many people out of potential trouble.

ssosmcin September 13 2012 08:23 PM

Re: Paramount IP enforcement, has it hit any productions yet?
 
Quote:

Linnear wrote: (Post 6949024)
CBS is the rights holder for Star Trek. And dealing with the top people in CBS, I can tell you they are decent, passionate people who love Star Trek. Alec

That, plus the rest of your post, was very nice to read. It's great when the rights owner goes to the trouble to work with fans to help keep the flame alive, so to speak. They are in no way obligated to and it's says a lot.

Compare them to the Irwin Allen series rights holders.

Thanks for sharing that info!


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